Betasso Preserve Canyon Loop

Boulder County, Colorado

Elevation Gain639ft
Trailhead Elevation6,490ft
Elevation Min/Max6322/6598ft
Elevation Start/End6490/6490ft

Betasso Preserve Canyon Loop

Canyon Loop is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is 3.2 miles long and begins at 6,490 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 639 feet. The Betasso Preserve Shelter picnic site can be seen along the trail. There is also parking along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Loop Link and Betasso Link.

Betasso Preserve Canyon Loop Professional Reviews and Guides

"This short hike is close to Boulder, but tucked far enough west to offer seclusion. Located in the Betasso Preserve, home to a wide variety of plant and animal life and age-old geological formations, this 3.2-mile loop is maintained by Boulder County Parks and Open Space, which ensures a well-maintained and easily accessible trail all year long.

From dense trees and gullies to open meadows and sweeping vistas, this rolling landscape offers the beautiful views and mellow climate that is so characteristic of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains."

"This land 6 miles west of Boulder was not homesteaded until 1912, three years later becoming a cattle ranch operated by the Betasso family. Now operated by Boulder County Parks and Open Space, Betasso Preserve features deer instead of cows.

The vigorous Canyon Loop Trail crosses ?owered ?elds, a lush streambed, a dense forest, and a meadow as it loops around the junction of Boulder and Fourmile canyons."

"The open meadows and forested ravines between Fourmile Canyon and Boulder Canyon make up Betasso Preserve. The Canyon Loop Trail wanders in and out of ravines that stretch toward the high plains-if Grandma's House were at trail's end, this would be a fairy-tale "through the woods" experience.

About half the trail wanders through Douglas fir on north-facing slopes; this forest is host to gorgeous wildflowers in spring. Must of the rest of the trail is shaded by the vanilla-scented ponderosa pine, which grow above a carpet of lush grass and flowers."

"Canyon Loop Trail is located in Boulder County’s historic Betasso Preserve, which was an 1870s mining and sawmill town. This wellmaintained hike is easy to find and close to Boulder. Half the trail traverses meadows with Douglas fir trees on north-facing slopes. The rest of the trail is shaded by ponderosa pines and lined with moss-covered boulders."

"Although short in distance, this trail has a fair amount of climbing on narrow single track. Try two or more laps if you want to get more miles in, or ride to it from Boulder to get a really good workout. It reminds me of a shortened version of Apex Park. The trail has recently been designated as a one-way ride for mountain bikers. Check at the trailhead to see which direction we bikers are restricted. Terrain: Smooth, narrow single track.

Drop north from the parking area, pass through a fence and pickup the Canyon Loop Trail. Begin a short climb, passing through another fence (0.2) before starting the descent portion of the ride. This trail has some ruts and loose soil, so check your speed. After crossing the second of two small brooks (1.5), begin the final climb back to the start. As the trail turns back west from an overlook (2.2), climb to a second parking lot where a road takes you back to the start or continue on the wide path to complete the loop (2.9)."

"The city of Boulder and the county of Boulder have done an amazing job of preserving lands in and around the city, and Betasso Preserve is one of the many open space lands that citizens of Boulder County and the Front Range can use. This hike is a nice outing through forests of ponderosa pines on a smooth well-maintained trail."

"An exceptional trail that winds through ponderosa pine forest, meadows, streams and provides many scenic views of the canyons below. Very popular with bikers, so run this trail on Saturdays and Wednesdays when they are not allowed in the preserve.

Grade: A scattering of rocky sections, and some sand near the parking area. Assuming a clockwise loop, the trail drops throughout the first half of the run, is flat for a short time, and regains the elevation loss during the final mile."

"Betasso Preserve delivers a short, but sweet ride and offers much to riders of any ability. The wide and smooth singletrack of the Canyon Loop Trail is ideal for beginners wanting to test their singletrack mettle.

The loop also invites riders with more experience to run laps past open meadows awash with wildflowers and through cooler ponderosa pine forests. Being so close to Boulder, Betasso Preserve offers an immediate getaway from the hectic pace of Boulder during rush hour. The preserve has been the subject of much public scrutiny and environmental impact studies in the last few years, reminding us to respect our parks, open spaces, and forests. Terrain: Singletrack and doubletrack that roll over open meadows and hard-packed forest terrain."

Betasso Preserve Canyon Loop Reviews

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Decent beginner trail with good views. However, there were way too many bikers. We had to stop every couple of minutes to let them pass. Per the posting, bikes are not allowed on Wednesdays and Saturday, so that might be your best bet if you want to hike in peace.

Betasso Preserve Canyon Loop Photos

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Trail Information

Boulder County
Nearby City
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
For current conditions and more information, contact Boulder County, or (303) 678-6200
Local Contacts
Betasso Preserve brochure; Boulder County Parks and Open Space
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018